Ben Parker Gomm, 83, of Woodville, Idaho, and Smoot, Wyo., joined his sweetheart, Dorene, in his Father's presence, surrounded by his loved ones in his home in Woodville on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014.
Ben was born Oct. 5, 1930, to Ben Charles Gomm and Opal Louise Allred Gomm near Afton, Wyo., the third of seven children. Ben spent much of his youth farming in Osmond, Wyo. His parents purchased land south of Smoot, which became Gomm Ranch. Years were spent clearing the land for farming. He worked at sawmills and fighting fires.
Ben was educated in Osmond, Afton, Tabiona, Utah, and Altamont, Utah, where he graduated as valedictorian and played right end on Altamont's first football team.
He attended Utah State, where he met his bride, proposing to her on April Fools' Day. They were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on Aug. 1, 1951. They had four children, Becky, Sandee, Ben Jr. and Annette (Nettie); 18 grandchildren; and 36 great-grandchildren.
Ben graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor of Science in agronomy, minoring in animal husbandry.
He taught school and later was hired by the Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) as a range manager, where he participated in fighting more than 100 forest and range fires in Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Alaska. The BLM sent him to the University of Wisconsin, where he obtained his master's degree in land use and city planning.
In 1971, Ben and Dorene opened Aladdin's Flowers in Idaho Falls, spending many years establishing the business.
He was hired by the Idaho Department of Lands as a mineral resource specialist and mined land reclamationist. He received awards for Reclamationist of the Year and a special award from the governor of Idaho.
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he and Dorene served in the Idaho Falls Temple for more than five years. They served missions in the Idaho Falls Employment Center and the Alabama Birmingham Mission.
Ben and Dorene spent years building lovely homes in Woodville and Smoot, greenhouses, floral shops and other things of beauty.
An intelligent, artistic and witty person with a beautiful voice, a love of music and dancing, he was a remarkably strong athlete, loving football and boxing.
He is survived by his children, Becky (Robert) Pinkham of Vernal, Utah, Sandee (John) Palm of Idaho Falls, Ben (Becky Jo) Gomm Jr. of Woodville and Nettie Wheeler of West Jordan, Utah.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, a brother, sister, two sisters-in-law and a granddaughter, Leah Gomm.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at the Woodville 1st Ward Chapel, 1555 N. 700 East in Shelley. The family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13, at the church. Another service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, at the Smoot Ward in the Osmond Chapel in Osmond, Wyo. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Saturday at the church. Interment will be in the Smoot, Wyo., cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.nalderfuneralhome.com.